Go ahead and swim right after eating

It’s advice parents have been giving their children for generations: Don’t swim until 30 to 60 minutes after you eat.

Dr. Michael Boniface, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician, says the motherly advice had serious origins but may not be as helpful as once thought.

“The old feeling was that, after you eat, some of the blood may be diverted to your gut so that you can digest, diverting the bloodstream away from your arms and legs,” he said. “And you may get tired or fatigued, and be more likely to drown.”

But there’s no scientific basis for the recommendation, he says. “You may end up with some stomach cramping or a muscle cramp, but this is not a dangerous activity to routinely enjoy.”

So, while it may not be the most comfortable thing to go for a swim with a full belly, the world won’t end if you ignore your mom’s advice on this.

— Mayo Clinic

News Network

Hints from Heloise

Easy way to help measure liquid

Sylvia M. in The Villages, Fla. writes: When measuring liquids using a measuring cup, I set the cup in the microwave (over the range), and then pour in the liquid. I can see the measurement lines straight on, and the light in the microwave helps. No more trying to hold the cup level as I lift it up and pour.

Jo Ann D. writes via email: I reuse my single-use coffee pods to start seeds. I rinse them out and poke a few more holes in them, and put one seed in each one.

Jessica B. in Newport Beach, Calif. writes: I get so tired getting up and down from the ground while planting. I decided to get a 5-gallon bucket, with a lid, at the hardware store. I can now sit down while doing yardwork, and store my hand tools inside the bucket.

— King Features

Where to learn all about baggage fees

Picking the cheapest flight used to be simple, but it’s been complicated by airlines deciding to charge for checking your bag(s) and, in some instances, charging for your carry-on.

Airfarewatchdog helps you out with its new Guide to Baggage Fees. It lists expected baggage fees by carrier for flights from the U.S. and Canada. In addition to destinations in the U.S. and Canada it also has a separate listing for travel to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean and one for the rest of the world.

Southwest Airlines remains the only domestic airline covering the Lower 48 that has no baggage fees.

The chart’s at http://tinyurl.com/yap6pxp8.

— Phil Marty

Chicago Tribune